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🌎 Good morning! A week since Earth Day. Did enough change?
April 29, 2021
Samsung’s Galaxy expansion
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro hero shot
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s Unpacked event launched new Galaxy laptops yesterday, with four new models added to the Galaxy Book line. 

  • People who saw these devices in person were more excited than I might’ve guessed, so it’s possible they have a real chance of growing Samsung’s Wintel market share.

Let’s take a look at each.

Galaxy Book Pro and Pro 360

  • These two Windows laptops are Samsung’s first with AMOLED screens, and pack 11th-gen Intel CPUs, a thinner and lighter design, in 13-inch and 15-inch options.
  • The Pro is a classic clamshell, while the Pro 360 has a neat new hinge to offer a 2-in-1 touchscreen tablet experience.
  • The OLED display will be intriguing for two reasons: people worry about these screens being bright enough for work in conditions with glare, and battery life.
  • The brightness didn’t seem to be an issue at first for those that had some hands-on time, but Samsung didn’t detail battery life in the announcements. Like smartphones, it’s possible that using dark mode will help eke out more battery life.
  • And in the box of disappointments are a 1080p display resolution and a 720p webcam on each device. And, Samsung sticking with 16:9 laptops, as other companies go for the taller 3:2 may or may not suit your workflow.
  • The Pro starts at $1,000/$1,100 (for the 13-inch and 15-inch respectively), while the Pro 360 convertible starts at $1,200/$1,300 (13/15-inch split).

M1 competitors?

  • Samsung went big on its pitch, bringing in Intel and Microsoft during the presentation, and with these laptops ticking off a checklist like touchscreens, fingerprint sensor, HDMI and MicroSD slots, super light and thin, and a silent operating mode called “no fan mode,” Samsung has thrown a bunch of useful things into these devices.
  • I’m keen to see real-world use reviews, because the real test will be battery life. 
  • I want an M1 Mac just to use all day without worrying about a charger. 
  • I doubt Samsung has the same on offer here just given how aggressively thin and light these are. Prove me wrong!

Also: Galaxy Book Odyssey

  • This would be a bigger deal, but Samsung isn’t releasing this gaming laptop until August. It’s a 15.6-inch Full HD device, packing either the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Max-Q or 3050 Ti Max-Q GPU, with the higher-end card the first for a laptop.
  • It also has an 11th-gen Intel CPU, up to 1TB of NVMe SSD storage and 32GB of DDR4x RAM.
  • It’ll start at $1,399.

And finally the Galaxy Book: 

  • The more affordable Galaxy Book makes a few cuts to get to an $800 starting price.
  • The 15.4-inch model will stick with an LCD, and in the US, 11th-gen CPUs, max 16GB RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD, with up to 1TB storage
  • Another model will include LTE.
  • Availability isn’t until the second half of 2021, pushing it at least two or three months away.

By the way: Samsung didn’t announce the 14-inch Arm-based Samsung Galaxy Book Go that has thoroughly leaked. Not sure where that one is at, but WinFuture.de has leaked even more details today.

Roundup

💲 Here’s how much it costs Samsung to make the S21 series (Android Authority).

📈 Let’s talk quarterly earnings: Samsung banked a big profit, with its mobile business up 66% on the back of the Galaxy S21 smartphone series, but the Texas chip plant shutdown cost it $270M (Reuters). Apple made an astonishing $89.6B in three months, up 54 percent year over year, which is ridiculous and boosted by 5G iPhone and new Macs, with that growth rate likely to fall as the world reopens (in theory). Alphabet showed revenues of $55.3B with Google search again vying for the absolute lead as the world’s greatest business. Also, Microsoft reported strong Windows, Xbox, and cloud growth (The Verge). Shopify did massively well, too (CNBC). A lot of good numbers because last year, in the early pandemic, things were so bad, and a lot of uncertainty about the next quarter due to the chip shortage, and slow return to normal non-pandemic life in some parts of the world.

🛍️ There’s a collector’s edition OnePlus Nord in a special arty box for some reason (Android Authority).

🎯 Netflix knows you’re awful at decisions, so now it picks what you should watch with a new “Play Something” button (Android Authority).

📺 HBO Max will launch a cheaper ad-supported price tier, with a leak putting it at $10 p/m, with ads (Android Authority).

🔡 Microsoft is close to choosing a new default font, ending Calibri’s 15 year run. The five possible new fonts are Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview, all sans serif (Ars Technica).

☁️ A cloud-based Google Chrome? Mighty is a new Chromium-based browser for macOS that lives in the cloud, and will eat your battery less. Also, it may be as much as $30 per month (Gizmodo)

🖥️ Microsoft is fixing the pain of arranging Windows 10 apps on multiple displays (Engadget).

World’s first floating city in the Maldives to save it from rising sea levels: the MFC start floating in 2022 (Interesting Engineering).

🧊 If you haven’t hiked across a glacier yet, you might want to get booted up: melting mountain glaciers may not survive the century (Wired).

🌅 “ELI5: Why do you feel more tired when sunburnt?” (r/explainlikeimfive).

Throwback Thursday

Oh no, the passing of a legend: Juan Joya Borja, who died this week, one of the greatest memes from one of the funniest storytellers, known as El Risitas, or Mr Giggles, or just Spanish Laughing Guy.

mr giggles

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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